So, I watched it yesterday and thought it was okay. It seemed familiar because of the tired tropes you mention above. I thought Amy Adams and Glen Close did a great acting job with a mediocre script.mockbee wrote: ↑Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:13 am
So.....? What's your impressions?
I think there are many important angles to this story that would explain a lot about this country, but I don't think the movie could decide what it was trying to say. It didn't pick a story, it just tried to touch on all sorts of tangents without trying to develop a story around any of them. (except maybe the grandma, but even then I was wanting to know way more of her story. The movie definitely wasn't about the boy.)
The movie could have been about...
1. How JD got from a factory town, whose family had a hillbilly past, to Yale. (tired trope)
2. How JD's relationship with his mom and grandma shaped him. (I think the writers/Howard thought this was what they were saying, but I didn't get that at all)
3. How his mom's life was shaped by his grandma and her past. (good story)
4. How JD copes with his hillbilly past in his newfound elite setting. (tired trope)
5. How the elite setting views this hillbilly. (tired trope)
It touched, sort of - rather shallow though, on all those themes, but was about none of them.
At the end I really disliked the kid...and liked the grandma.
Now I might have to read the book.
The movie's portrayal of addiction seemed kind of lite to me, could have been grittier and more in your face about how destructive and devastating addiction is to families.
On poverty, the movie tried to show the generational cycle that makes getting out so hard. As you said earlier, the movie didn't really go into many details or show how JD suddenly(seemed like suddenly, poor pacing of movie) got to Yale. We learn he joins the military which is how he was able to go to college. I guess from that it's implied that for poor people in the USA, post-secondary education is only possible by joining the army. Hard work, discipline and structure suddenly seems to come to JD when his grandma splits her Meals on Wheels dinner with him. He seems to snap out of being a carefree, lazy teenager to responsible and driven.
Also, the lack of healthcare in America is also highlighted when JD tried to get his mom into rehab and uses his credit cards to pay for her first 2 weeks. This also keeps the cycle of poverty going because those who want help can't access it because they can'y pay, keeping the cycle going.
I thought the grandma was the most interesting and likable. Even though she seemed harsh,she had a heart. She recognized that for JD to have a chance of getting out of poverty, she had to step in to replace her daughter and be the mother because her daughter was unable to be a mother due to her drug addiction and unresolved childhood trauma. I guess it was a second chance for Mamaw to be the mother she couldn't be to her daughter. I thought the movie was mainly about the grandmother.
I doubt I'll read the book.